Updated: Jul 27, 2019
I have been thinking deeply about the original purpose for GSL. A good start to life was about just that, children having a good start.
It was all about engaging with children when they are young, and being available when their families needed a little help. It was about being present in the community as they grow and need different types of help, at different stages. The help that's needed for littlies is very different to what primary aged children need, and that is vastly different to the needs to teenagers and young adults.
We started with this vision in 2011 and had an ambitious rollout plan. By 2013 we were well on our way. We wanted quality professionals and had gone to the lengths of becoming visa sponsors for oversea qualified therapists. We brought therapists to Australia and we forged new relationships with young families through our allied health services.
It was an awful realisation when we discovered we just couldn't make the services viable. When we closed these services, we lost our way a little. We had to follow market and at that stage there were funds for services directed to the needs of older children. Although we have built great programs for school leavers and young adults, we haven't had the same opportunity to connect with young families since that time.
It's important to be available when parents and families learn their child has a disability, or when they start to suspect.
I think it might be time to rethink our position. The market is very different now, and we have many lessons from which we have learned. I can't help but think we can bring a bit of innovation to this space and make a huge difference to that early bumpy start for children, parents and families.
We'll keep thinking. Watch this space.